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Chinese Immigrants in Cuba: Documents from the James and Ana Melikian Collection


The Chinese Immigrants in Cuba collection includes hundreds of original documents, manuscripts and photos covering the migration of 125,000 Chinese who signed up to be cheap labor in Cuba from 1847 until the later 1890s. The archive continues until the 1970s and records the Chinese community in Cuba and is rich with photos. This massive collection, from the archive of James and Ana Melikian Collection, is probably the largest one in private hands concerning Chinese in Cuba. At present the collection contains over 1341 records and about 8,000-9,000 pages.


Date Range
1806 1960


These are the records of Jose Dolores, a Chinese settler brought from China to Cuba for work. The documents include handwritten contracts with various owners and recommendation letters, detailing his good behavior as a worker. His certificate of nationality is also included and was accepted by the governor of Cuba.

Created Date
1864

This is a bank book from the Bank of China in Havana, Cuba, that belonged to a man named J. Chan. Havana- 1958

Created Date
1958-12-30

Francisco Plazaola, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. He also dedicated his life and fealty to God.

Ancate, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity. He was contracted by Felix Garcia y Co and chose the name Francisco.

Created Date
1865-06-11

Valentin Salazar, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. His godmother was Ceulia de la Piedra.

Created Date
1865-08-13

Juan, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Cerro. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, he offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement. His godfather was Manuel Estofinan.

Created Date
1860-01-09

Cristobal, a Chinese settler, converted to Christianity in the city of Havana. He was originally from Canton. In his baptism, Cristobal offered his loyalty to the Cuban government and the church in order to eventually receive permanent residency in Cuba, a legal requirement.

Created Date
1863-10-10

This is the birth certificate of Antonio de Padua who was born to slaves belonging to Dolores Diaz Rosa and his grandparents, Daniel and Dorotea are listed as well.

Created Date
1873

Birth certificate of Lucario Fernando who was born to Solome, a black worker from the Conga and Pedro, a Chinese settler.

Created Date
1876

A blank contract for employees working with agents Mariano del Pielago and Merino Gelledo. It has two language versions: Spanish and Chinese. It indicates the instructions that the employees should follow.